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NFL Insider Week 16 Power Rankings

Updated on December 21, 2011

Week 15 brought us a lot of disappointment, some big surprises, and some huge upsets. We watched the Packers lose for the first time this calendar year, and the Colts win for the first time this season.

We also watched some big disappointments, like the Giants and Jets both laying an egg in must win games. Tim Tebow didn't have enough fire power and they turned the ball over too many times to compete with the Patriots.

Other teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack and position themselves in the playoffs. Detroit is one win away from clinching a playoff spot, and the 49ers, Saints, and Packers are all in the playoffs. In the AFC, the Texans, Steelers, and Patriots are all in the playoffs. Let's take a look at the power rankings for this week and see how everyone stacks up.

Week 15 Power Rankings

1
Green Bay Packers
The Packers lost their first game, and it was very bad. They are really banged up on the offensive line and they proved that they are very beatable if they can't create turnovers on defense. They are still at the top for one more week though
2
New Orleans Saints
The Saints are the best team indoors, but outside is a different story. Their hope is to clinch that second seed so they can play in the dome throughout the playoffs. That is until they meet the Packers (if they are still playing)
3
San Francisco 49ers
The Niners dominated a banged up Steelers team last night on MNF. They still have an opportunity to get that second seed and a first round bye. Maybe they will get the lights fixed at Candlestick before the playoffs
4
New England Patriots
The Patriots were able to create turnovers and beat the Broncos, but they lost their best defensive player to injury. They are playing well offensively, but I don't like their chances in the playoffs
5
Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens were throttled by the Chargers Sunday night. This team has been up and down all year and if they play this way in the playoffs, it will be a quick exit for Baltimore.
6
Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben's injury is already taking its toll on the Steelers. They were dominated by the 49er defense and he turned the ball over four times. I think the best bet for them is to rest him until playoff time. What good is home field if you can't win the game?
7
Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta can play with anyone, but they have been inconsistent this sesason. They have put themselves in a good situation to make the playoffs. I think they will perform better than last year without the pressure of being the favorite like last season
8
Houston Texans
The Texans are battered with injuries and find themselves in a bad situation going into the playoffs. Wade Phillips should be back so that will help the defense get back on track after a tough outing against Cam Newton.
9
Denver Broncos
The Broncos did not look good against New England, but they still find themselves in first place after the Raiders choked.
10
Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals got back on track with a victory and with the Jets losing, they're right back in the mix of the playoffs.
11
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are only a game out of first place in the division and are playing as well as anyone right now. Don't look now but they might just sneak into the playoffs after dropping six straight games.
12
Detroit Lions
The Lions made a big comeback in the fourth quarter again to put themselves in a perfect situation to make the playoffs. They have a tough game against the Chargers this weekend though.
13
Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are playing very well right now and still have a very slim chance of winning the division. They have a big game against the Cowboys next weekend that will really shake things up if they can get a win.
14
New York Jets
The Jets still control their own destiny and if they can win out, they will be in the playoffs, but they have a tough game against the Giants, who are also in a must win situation
15
New York Giants
The Giants had an opportunity to take control of the division but failed to do so. They really need to beat the Jets this weekend to stand a chance.
16
Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are another team that is inconsistent and haven't played well against good teams. They can't seem to ever finish games. The Eagles and Giants to finish the season will make it a tough road to the playoffs.
17
Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals got another last minute victory to move to .500 and slim chances of a playoff birth still exists, but very slim. A great turn around though for a team that started the way they did.
18
Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have really turned things around as well, but too little too late. Jackson has looked pretty decent at the QB position and the young defense shows a lot of promise. They destroyed the Bears this weekend and look to finish above .500, something they didn't do last year but still made the playoffs
19
Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have looked very good late in the season, despite firing their head coach through all of this. If only they would've started this strong, we may be talking about them in the playoff mix.
20
Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton put on a clinic, like he has all year and dominated the top ranked defense in the league. He has been scary good all year for a rookie and I see a bright future for Carolina.
21
Kansas City Chiefs
I don't have the Chiefs this high because they beat Green Bay, but because Kyle Orton has provided stability at the QB position and can move this team up and down the field.
22
Chicago Bears
This team has gone south without their top offensive weapons. I expected this, but they have played bad defensively as of late too, which is not Chicago football. Here's looking to next year Bears fans.
23
Tennessee Titans
We've seen the last of Matt Hasselback, at least in a Titans uniform. Getting thumped by the winless Colts was the last straw for him.
24
Oakland Raiders
What a disappointment Carson Palmer and this team has been down the stretch. They haven't won a game in a month and now find themselves sitting behind the Broncos and Chargers in the division race.
25
Washington Redskins
The Redskins dominated the Giants at New Giant Stadium. It was an awful display by the Giants but give Grossman credit, he converted a number of third and longs.
26
Cleveland Browns
The Browns choked last week against Arizona. It was all coaching that cost the Browns the game. Horrible play calling and bad clock management ultimately cost the Browns a victory.
27
Buffalo Bills
The Bills have been brutal the past few months and it's not looking any better for them throughout the rest of the season.
28
Minnesota Vikings
Christian Ponder has seemed to take a turn for the worse the past few weeks. He looked good early on but now it seems he can't move the ball. It's been really ugly for them.
29
Jacksonville Jaguars
Even with a new coach it's the same old Jags. Blaine Gabbert may have been a huge mistake. It's still to early to tell but right now they look pretty bad.
30
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buc's are very bad! I can't believe it's the same team from a year ago. I have no idea how they beat the Saints and Falcons early in the season, because they look like they can't compete with a division III school right now.
31
Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are finally off the bottom of the power rankings, not just because they won a game, but because I feel they are better than the Rams.
32
St Louis Rams
The Rams are one of the worst teams I've ever seen play, including the winless Lions from a few years ago.

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